Saturday, June 1, 2013

Various & Sundry: Courage from start to finish

I love my little blog. It's just so satisfying, being able to share what's on my mind and have it actually reach other people. It's nerve-wracking, too, of course, and I'm glad I am an obscure little bit player in the blogosphere, but as a writing person, I think blogging is great exercise. If you're wondering about blogging yourself, I'd recommend that you read Mark Shaefer's post 10 Maxims of Successful Blogging. Here are maxims 1 and 2:
1. We live in an increasingly information-dense world. The only way to stand out is to dig down deep and bring your own story to the world. Your point of differentiation is you. You have no competitors. Write a blog post that only you could write.  
 2. The biggest challenge to blogging isn’t having the time, the ideas, or the resources to do it. It’s having the courage to do it. It takes guts to put yourself out there in front of the world. You can’t learn that. You just have to do it.
Actually, I think that's about more than just blogging, don't you?

In other writing news, the editor for the obituary page of the Daily Telegraph (London) explains how to write a good obituary:

You know that James Harrison is going to have a good obituary, when the day comes. Harrison has a rare form of blood plasma that prevents Rhesus disease, a condition where antibodies in a pregnant woman’s blood destroy her baby's blood cells. He has been donating blood an average of once every three weeks for over 50 years and is estimated to have saved 2.4 million babies. Makes me wonder when I'm next eligible to give blood.

Here's who else is not in the obituary pages this week: Debbie Harry, who is, instead, featured in Vogue Spain, 67 years old and looking absolutely fabulous. As Tom and Lorenzo explain (well, mostly Tom), Debbie Harry taught Tom "that being fabulous is the very best 'fuck you' one can give to a world determined to tear you down, and that drama, beauty and glamour were good for the soul when so many people around you seem to be striving for mediocrity." Given that yesterday, I wasn't sure whether I'd actually brushed my hair that day, I think I could be doing better in learning this lesson.

I did not look like this yesterday. Or any day, for that matter.

Then again, I don't look like Hitler either. Unlike some tea kettles I could name. JC Penney got in trouble this week when someone pointed out that the kettle on a billboard near Culver City had a decidedly Third-Reich-like cast to it. This gave rise to the following lead in Business Insider:
JCPenney has officially denied that a tea kettle being advertised on a billboard on the 405 Interstate near Culver City, Calif., is intended to represent Adolf Hitler, the Nazi dictator during World War II.
What's your favorite part? Is it the "officially denied"? Or (my favorite) that they explain who Adolf Hitler is?

Here, by the way, was JC Penney's official response:

Well, naturally.

I understand JC Penney is having a hard time of it these days, and they may want to read this post, or at least follow its wonderful advice: "There is no silver bullet. There are only lead bullets." Really, that's better advice than you'd think. Sometimes you just have to fight that good fight.

But wouldn't you rather watch bath time for baby sloths? I know I would.

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